Kerry heads back to Mideast for fresh peace push
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the Middle East on Saturday, his third trip to the region in two weeks, in a fresh bid to unlock long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Istanbul was the first leg of a six-nation trip that will see him travel on to Europe and Asia.
From Turkey, he planned to go to Jerusalem for meetings with the presidents and prime ministers of both Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry accompanied President Barack Obama there last month and made a solo trip to Israel shortly after.
Though expectations are low for any breakthrough on Kerry’s trip, his diplomacy represents some of the Obama administration’s most sustained efforts for ending more than six decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Kerry probably will seek confidence-building measures between the two sides. Negotiators and observers see little chance right now for immediate progress on the big stumbling blocks toward a two-state peace agreement.
He may have more success on his first stop persuading Turkish leaders to continue improving ties with Israel. The two countries were once allies, but relations spiraled downward after Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip. Eight Turks and one Turkish-American died.
Hopes for rapprochement improved after Obama brokered a telephone conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while Obama was in Israel.
In Turkey, Kerry also will coordinate with Erdogan and other Turkish officials on efforts to halt the violence in neighboring Syria.
Kerry will also visit Britain and then South Korea, China and Japan, where talks will focus on North Korea’s nuclear program and escalating threats against the U.S. and its allies.
He is scheduled to return to Washington on April 15.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.